Monsoon Memories

Monsoon Memories Story and CharactersA wonderfully dramatic and poignant debut novel from Renita D Silva I was captivated by the characters and their plight I was intrigued by what deep secret could have torn the family apart What caused Shirin so much grief that she was haunted by the Eyes that would follow her during her daydreams and nightmares My heart broke for Shirin, she exiled herself to the UK but longed for her family in India but wondered if they could ever forgive her I could empathize with young Reena, an only child in India, who stumbled on a photograph of this forgotten woman and was determined to find out about her I simply could not put this book down and although I figured out the secret about half way through, I had to know what would happen and if the family could resolve their issues.I enjoyed how the author switched from Shirin s to Reena s perspective as they both inched their way closer to the truth I was so enthralled with the book that it did not feel like a 400 page book which I only realized when writing the review I look forward to future novels by this promising author.SettingAhhh, India, the country of my ancestry with vibrant colors, sweet tropical fruits and fragrant, melt in your mouth curries I have only been once that I can remember, but the country, its sights, delicious food and loving, welcoming family has stayed with me I have family from Bangalore, where Reena s story in India takes place.Ms D Silva brought back delicious childhood memories of food my mom makes I was drooling over just the mere thought of the wonderful aromas that Indian cooking produces As diverse as India is with different regions speaking different languages and eating different foods, I was surprised to find some of our family s favorites described, idli with sambar fat little white pancakes with lentil curry , masala dosa Indian crepes stuffed with pan fried potato , bhel puri crispy rice with a mint and sweet tamarind chutney, boiled potatoes, cilantro and tomatoes , and gulab jahmun crispy, sugary doughnut holes floating in a sweet syrup I have not learned to make these Indian favorites yet, looks like I will be hunting for some recipes and hounding my mom for hers Ms D Silva brought to light the struggle characters face upholding their culture s strong values or going with their heart She demonstrated the emotional impact of characters who are torn between following through with an arranged marriage or falling in love with someone of their choosing even if he was of a different religion or station in life The story shows the political unrest between Catholic, Hindu and Muslim Indians and the social disparity between the poorest servants who, when lucky, become part of the well to do family for whom they care Ms D Silva transported me back to India and I was sad to leave India, Shirin, Reena and their families when the book was over. Monsoon Memories by Renita D Silva is a book for anyone who enjoys meandering through unfamiliar landscapes and discovering hidden secrets within them The book effortlessly transports readers between England and India, painting each world with words and pulling us in with all of our senses I found myself longing to be where the coconut trees stood out in relief against the blanket of rain which muddied the courtyard that Madhu had diligently swept and tidied just that morning Against these two very different settings, secrets are hidden deep within a family, and I spent much time curled up in the solitude of late night, devouring the pages to reach the explanation of them The story started with a photo that Reena, a young girl had found Unlike the other pictures she had spent the afternoon flicking through, this one was creased and worn, as though someone had run their fingers across it many times and then folded it and tucked it away As I began to intimately know the characters and become comfortably calm in the story, another intriguing revelation would send me spiraling forward D Silva tells this story with elegance and skillfulness I highly recommend it. Beautiful writing and storytelling that captures the sights, smells, and sounds of life in rural India and contrasts it with a mundane existence in England The two main characters, Shirin and Reena, are drawn with careful attention to detail I particularly liked Reena s detective casebook narrative As these two separate lives intertwine and the story unfolds, D Silva does an excellent job with pacing that kept me engaged throughout the book Along the way, I enjoyed a sensory feast, reliving the aromas of spices frying in the kitchen and the unmistakable, unique scent of damp earth just before the monsoon rains arrive I highly recommend Monsoon Memories for anyone who appreciates Indian fiction. I was intrigued by the blurb when contacted by the publisher to see if I would be interested in reading this book What follows is an unbiased review but I am really glad I was chosen to read this one as it has that unique something that makes it immensely readable.Monsoon Memories is an evocative book describing the life of Reenu, an eleven year old girl Reenu visits her Grandmother in Taipur and finds a picture of a girl hidden in the family photo album Having decided to be a sleuth like her heroine Nancy Drew she is determined to find out who the girl is and why she has been erased from history Far away in England working as a programmer is Shirin, a woman haunted by the past and torn between enjoying the happy memories of her life as a child in India and being afraid of acknowledging the events that led her to leave Between them Shirin and Reenu tell us a painful story of a family torn apart.The heart of this story is family relationships including all the variations The characters are brilliant I loved Aunt Anita, Madhau the servant and the spirited Reenu The heat of India, the monsoons and the casual poverty that surrounds the family is well described, as is the food In fact food seemed to be mentioned continually illustrating how important it was to the structure of the day, I found this occasionally intrusive possibly as I haven t eaten many of the Indian dishes described in loving detail The structure of the story is measured and steady at no point did I feel it was drawn out unnecessarily The reader has different parts of the tale told from both Shirin s and Reenu s viewpoint which drew me in so that I was rooting for a happy ending for all the lovely characters, both minor and major bought to life in this book. 2000s A life long ago in India awoken with a lost forgotten photograph Visit the locations here Booktrail of Monsoon memoriesThe contrast of countries, times and settings make for a poignant tale of homesickness and secrets Shirin leads a rather empty life in London that she always compares to the colour and vibrancy of life in Bangalore Even the rain is different English rain smelt and tasted of nothing at all It had none of the fury, the passion of the monsoons Instead, it was weak half hearted The secrets are wrapped up in the evocative and spectacular scenery and vibrancy of India A faded photo is discovered by Reena who because of her love of Nancy Drew, is quick on the case of the mystery behind it.And the story of Reena, the photo and Shirin s past come to light slowly like layers of a sari, each fluttering in the warm Indian breeze For Shirin India represents colour, exotic fragrances and warm fond memories Oh the fabrics, the dusty streets, the children running along the dirt tracks, the humidity, and best of all the food Food forms so many memories and home cooking in India is set out here as if you could just scratch the pages and breathe it in.London in comparison is black and white and devoid of the heat and passion in the India scenes As Shirin s story of how she became an outcast come out, the lack of colours are even pronounced The cultural issues and traditions which are portrayed in the book are sensitively dealt withAs an overall look at India and its culture, family issues and the relationships between women, this is a table spread with delicacies of every kind. I really enjoyed this book a moving, well paced read I thought way the secrets in the story were gradually uncovered from two main characters pov s was a nice touch, and overall feel was very dreamy I guessed the BIG SECRET reasonably early on, but it did not spoil the enjoyment of reading the rest of the book in fact, I felt the references of unspoken of but implied events in the past were quite a draw 4 stars and not 5 because for me there were too many unexplained Indian references while it definitely gives the book authenticity and adds character, a few times I was not sure what is being referred to All in all great read, give it a try. A great read Told by two different characters one woman and one 11 year old girl in two different countries, it tells the story of an Indian family and how each of their lives were changed by one fateful day The pacing of the story started a little slow for me, but definitely kept me intrigued once of the plot surfaced I had a little difficulty with all of the references to Indian food, but the descriptions of the different towns and people in India were well done and helped me really visualize where the story was taking place A great pick for anyone who enjoys stories of family bonds, secrets, Indian culture, and forgiveness. Oh I ve just finished reading this book and I m struggling to find the right words to express how much I enjoyed reading it This book is just amazing I ve read other books by the brilliant Renita D Silva all fabulous reads but I hadn t yet read this book, her debut novel Now after reading it, I can t actually believe this was her first book Through her beautiful exotic prose, this author has once again taken me on an emotional ride spanning continents This is the story of a family divided in the name of values and honour It is set in the UK and India two countries that couldn t be differentHer guilty secret Her biggest regretHaving practically escaped from her mother country, India, Shirin is now living in the UK with her husband Vinod She has spent the last years struggling to cope with her sense of guilt and the repetitive nightmares and dreams of her past life Overwhelmed by memories, she now longs to go back home and confront her demons But sullying your family name is unforgivable For her family, she s dead What had she done to deserve this sort of punishment, to be banished away from home Can Shirin ever be forgiven and accepted back in a family where religious and cultural values have strong rootsEvery family has secrets and they re there for a reasonBack in India, we meet Reena, a young girl who finds an old photograph of a mysterious girl Who is this girl Why doesn t she show up in any of the other pictures Why was the photo hidden And why is everyone reluctant to talk about her She s determined to find out who this girl was and so puts into practice her sharp detection skills to find this girl s identity But Reena doesn t know that some truths are best kept hidden, buried.The story goes back and forth in time as together with Shirin, we relive her memories We are slowly led to one faithful night when Shirin s and all her family s lives have been turned upside down by tragedy.All characters in the book are very realistic and I felt as if I ve known them all my life I felt sorry for Shirin, for what she has gone through I wished I could alleviate her heartache somehow I admired Vinod for his courage, love and determination And I just loved little sweet Reena.Since I was a kid, I have always dreamed of visiting India, and thanks to Ms D Silva s vivid colourful descriptions, whenever I read one of her books, it s as though my dream comes true again and again This author brings India s tradition, culture, sceneries, its colours, sounds, smells and even its tastes to life Everything expertly weaved within the main plot of a poignant, heartwarming story I could clearly imagine the coconut trees swaying in the wind by the river, the markets bustling with life, people selling and buying fresh exotic fruits and vegetables and aromatic spices Bright coloured sari clad women looking for a good bargain Stray cows milling around in the streets blocking traffic and a thousand other things Not mentioning the mouth watering food and recipes the author likes to add to practically every chapter just to make me feel hungry I actually googled some of the food mentioned and will make it a point to try some of it next time I visit my favourite Indian restaurant.I so loved reading this book that when I turned the last page, after going through a beautiful, beautiful tear jerking, satisfying ending, I ended up sad I felt so part of Shirin s family that it was as though I was going away from my family home, leaving all my loved ones behind me in India.This book is just fabulous and I highly recommend it Heartwarming, Unforgettable, Intriguing Endearing A Wonderful Read I Loved It English Rain Smelt And Tasted Of Nothing At All It Had None Of The Fury, The Passion Of The Monsoons Instead, It Was Weak Half HeartedExiled From Her Family In India For Than A Decade, Shirin And Her Husband Lead A Comfortable But Empty Life In LondonMemories Of Her Childhood Exotic Fragrances, Colours, Stifling Heat And Tropical Storms Fill Shirin With A Familiar And Growing Ache For The Land And The People That She LovesWith The Recollections Though, Come Dark Clouds Of Scandal And Secrets Secrets That Forced Her To Flee Her Old Life And Keep Her From Ever ReturningThousands Of Miles Away, In Bangalore, The Daughter Of Shirin S Brother Discovers A Lost, Forgotten Photograph One That Has Escaped The FlamesDetermined To Solve The Mystery Of An Aunt She Never Knew, Reena S Efforts Will Set In Place A Chain Of Events That Expose The Painful Trauma Of The Past And Irrevocably Change The Path Of The Future An Unforgettable Journey Through A Mesmerizing, Passionate Land Of Contrasts And A Family Whose Story Will Touch Your Heart

I love nothing better than to lose myself in a good book The only thing that comes close to the feeling I get when I read is when I am writing I am the author of Monsoon Memories , The Forgotten Daughter , The Stolen Girl , A Sister s Promise , A Mother s Secret , A Daughter s Courage , Beneath An Indian Sky , The Girl In The Painting I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I loved writ

➽ [Reading] ➿ Monsoon Memories  By Renita D'Silva ➲ –
  • ebook
  • 410 pages
  • Monsoon Memories
  • Renita D'Silva
  • English
  • 03 March 2019
  • 9781909490048

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